Editor’s Miscellany: Bookish Pleasures
December 20, 2012
By Kyle Hoepner
There’s just something about books and bookshelves–preferably lots and lots of them–that will give a room an amazing sense of comfort and warmth. Whether your own collection, painstakingly (or offhandedly) assembled since second grade, or the product of a quick foray by your designer to one of the numerous online sources touting â€œbooks by the yard,â€ those packed ranks of variously colored spines convey a sense of civilized calm that’s scarcely achievable in any other way. And if the odd extra stack or two ends up on a table or the floor? You get extra points, in my view.
Feel free to intersperse a selection of choice objects–carved boxes, small sculptures, mismatched bookends, finials, family photos, drawings, perhaps a dried and varnished puffer fish–to get that cabinet de curiositÃ©s effect. Or hang a few pictures in front of the shelves (although this is a pretty good indicator that your books aren’t frequently used).
Older glass-front library cases can be a lot of fun, and I’ve particularly enjoyed how inventively designers in recent years have been using color or pattern on the shelves, bookcase back or the wall behind to pull a room’s color palette together.
Can this kind of biblio-love be taken too far? Yes, I suppose. But then again, my own little urban nest has entirely run out of wall space for shelves, which now are being set back-to-back Ã la library stacks–and I’m not a bit sorry.
Another book-related space you may enjoy:
Little Big House: One compact building in New Hampshire’s White Mountains functions as guesthouse, library, tennis-viewing pavilion and boathouse.